John Freeman loving dream-job as Voice of the Cavaliers

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 3:16 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - John Freeman is in his first full school year as the “Voice of the Cavaliers.” It’s always been his dream to be the play-by-play voice of UVa athletics on the Cavalier Radio Network.

Freeman grew up in Crozet. As a kid he attended dozens of UVa sporting events. When he wasn’t at the games, he was listening to the games on radio.

“I spent a lot of my youth growing up listening to the radio, and the voice of my mentor, Mac McDonald,” Freeman said.

Freeman eventually became McDonald’s intern while attending the University of Virginia. Now, he has his dream-job calling the games on radio.

“He’s a young pro,” says Jimmy Miller, Freeman’s broadcast partner. “He is methodical and deliberate in his research.”

Freeman was a standout football player at Western Albemarle High School and was even named homecoming king his senior year. He also had a love for broadcasting at an early age. Freeman’s dad says his son could be heard calling games in the house while playing John Madden on his PlayStation.

Freeman was doing UVA lacrosse games on the radio when he was a student at UVA. His journey back to Charlottesville came after doing several years of soccer broadcasting in Nashville.

“I told my predecessor, Dave Koehn, this all the time: I want your job,” Freeman said.

Koehn left in 2021 to be the voice of the Milwaukee Bucks.

“My first thought was, what a wonderful career he’s had and what a great opportunity for him,” Freeman said. “Second thought was I will do whatever it takes to be the new Voice of the Cavaliers.”

After a few months calling games at UVA on an interim basis, Freeman was offered the gig full-time.

“It was life changing, and I knew that life will never be the same,” he said.

Freeman’s first year as Voice of the Cavaliers included the basketball team’s last-second win at Duke. He said it was an amazing experience getting to call that game on radio and talked about the trip back to Charlottesville from Durham.

“I’m sitting there on the bus ride home and Tony Bennett is ten rows in front of me and I’m like, ‘This is not real,’” said Freeman. “We just won at Duke, I got to call the game on radio and now I’m ten rows behind a future Hall of Fame coach on the Virginia bus driving back to Charlottesville and I almost told the bus driver can you go a little bit slower.”

Freeman added, “This is hard work, and this community deserves someone who will do a good job, and I’m prepared to put in the work to make sure that’s me for hopefully a long time.”

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